Leaving footprints for the next generation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Cadiz participated in Project ManGROWves at the Dr. Vicente F. Gustilo Memorial National High School in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental on December 4, 2023.

The initiative was the brainchild of Grade 12-STEM Germain students at the said school, and it aims to instill commitment to environmental stewardship and the cultivation of a sustainable legacy. It is also an integral part of their Social Interaction and Community-Based Advocacies in Philosophy (SICAP) which symbolizes a conscientious effort to impart knowledge and instill values thar transcend generations.

A discussion about the critical role of mangroves with emphasis on environmental protection was conducted by Mr. John Kim C. Pariol, DENR-CENRO Cadiz, Sagay Marine Park (SMR)-Protected Area Management Office Staff. He shared insights about the ecological importance of mangroves and endeavored to inspire the students to become catalysts of change in their communities.

Mangroves was strategically chosen to be the focal point of the initiative because of their unique characteristics and that their ecological functions symbolize resilience, adaptability, and interconnectedness. They serve as living testaments to the delicate balance between human activities and the natural environment.

By understanding the intricacies of mangrove ecosystems, the students are then equipped with essential knowledge to realize the fragility of coastal biodiversity and the impact of human activities on these ecosystems.

“Initiatives like this give us hope for a better, greener future for everyone. DENR will endeavor to conduct more activities like this one which involves in large part, our youth. The PENROs and CENROs, as well as the Regional Office in Western Visayas are always here to render support and assistance”, Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran said.

Schools and environmental agencies such as DENR can work together to disseminate knowledge, inculcate value, and help pave the way for a future where constructive change and sustainable practices are the norm.